my weekend in pictures.

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{Amanda hosted such a fun Baby Shower/Celebration for me and Baby Foot on Saturday morning (I will be sure to share pictures soon!) and I finally got a chance to wear my new Hatch Collection jumper. A little out of my comfort zone (and Aaron doesn’t love jumpers or rompers so much) but I am in love! So comfy and I want to wear it everyday!}

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{We finally had to say good-bye to our Golf Wagen which we turned back in as part of the TDI scandal. It was a bit of a sad day.}

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{Eloise was sporting a super high pony thanks to Grammie. That face!}

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{Cuddles with this girl on a cold and blustery evening.}

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{Grammie slept in the new Murphy bed that Aaron built this fall and winter, and Eloise was obsessed. She wanted to be all tucked in with all of her friends.}

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{Cuddles with Papa while we waited for dinner this evening. Love these two.}

We had Grammie back in town and it got warmer than freezing, so it was a pretty great weekend all around! I was so honored to have a Baby Shower thrown by Amanda and loved, loved being around so many women that mean so much to me – my tribe. Tomorrow is back to normal with Eloise headed back to school and back to our regularly scheduled activities. A bit of a relief as we count down the weeks until this baby is born.

How was your weekend?

M

friday I’m in love.

Welcome back Friday & happy almost fall!

{one} Cat & Jack for Target.

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{via Target}

Target has a new kids’ clothing collaboration which am slightly obsessed with: Cat & Jack. I am slightly picky about the clothes I buy for Eloise, mostly because I want her to wear normal clothes, like adults wear. So much of this line fits the bill (at least for me) and is really whimsical which I also appreciate. You can see Eloise sporting some of the line here from her first day of school.

{two} Purely Elizabeth Granola.

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{via Purely Elizabeth}

Most of the summer I noshed on Ellenos greek yogurt for breakfast, but wanted a little more heft to it since I was feeling hungry just a short while later. Since Eloise basically wants to eat anything & everything that I am eating, I set out to find something that I would feel totally comfortable with her eating too. I was super surprised to find this great line of granola (& apparently a ton of other products) at Target – though you can get it lots of places – that is organic, non-GMO, made with ancient grains, and free of refined sugar. Granola, usually, is a food that seems to be healthy but in actuality it most isn’t, though that doesn’t stop me from eating it! But this granola is so, so good, & it is healthy! I like that it isn’t overly sweet & it also isn’t super crunchy. We are all obsessed!

{three} Weekday Meals.

Roasted Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad Photo

{via Food Fanatic blog}

Bruschetta Chicken Pasta Salad is a must make for any occasion in minutes! Filled with Italian seasoned grilled chicken, garlic and parmesan cheese! | http://cafedelites.com

{via Café Delites blog}

Weekday meals can be so tough since the very last thing that any of us want to do at the end of our work day is cook. But, we really prioritize a family meal every night with Eloise (except on the rare occasion Aaron as to work late) & eat a home-cooked meal at least six nights a week. I meal plan on Monday afternoon & grocery shop on Tuesday which helps keep things organized for the week, but I am always on the hunt for simple, quick, and delicious meals (aren’t we all?). Pinterest has been super awesome to us this week & I found two new meal winners: Roasted Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad and Bruschetta Chicken Pasta Salad (linked above). Even Eloise gobbled up both of these meals! What are your favorite recipes to make?

And be sure to check out what Kendra’s loving this week!

What are you loving this week?

M

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my {long} weekend in pictures.

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{On Friday, Aaron was cooking pizza for dinner so Eloise wanted to make pizza in her kitchen too!}

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{We stayed up and watched about half of a Jim Gaffigan show – he is the best!}

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{Aaron needed to run an errand at the Microsoft Store, so E and I joined along & she played with some of the computers which she calls “working.”}

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{We finally hung some frames in our entryway which has been on the list forever. These are city prints from the Rifle Paper Co calendar. Now we have a bucket list of destinations: Venice, London, Paris, Tokyo, and Cairo. I am two for five and Aaron is one for five.}

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{Crazy that I boxed up all of E’s cloth diapers this weekend. I will do an update on potty training in the coming weeks, but this girl is (basically) potty trained! Wahoo!}

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{Eloise was obsessed with the Xbox controller and this little headset this weekend. She never sees the Xbox on, except for one Daniel Tiger during the week, but knows the controller works the Xbox. She kept yelling “Colin! Colin!” (or was it “Callin’! “Callin’!”) whenever she had the headset on. It was hilarious!}

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{Our little artist had a watercolor session for her birthday thank you notes. The final products are below.}

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{Aaron has a few big projects – which we will be sure to share! – and worked really hard to get wood cut & ready this weekend.}

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{A mornings selfie by Eloise.}

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{It was cooler today so this adorable knit sweater that my sister-in-law made for E for her birthday was perfect! And that is the face that Eloise makes when you want her to pose for a picture, but she really just wants to look at your phone. “Cheese Mama!”}

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{I cropped the pages that Eloise watercolored to make postcards and then wrote her thank you notes on the back.}

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{In an effort to avoid maternity clothes for as long as possible – I especially loathe maternity denim – I DIY’d my own maternity jeans from a pair of Madewell jeans I picked up on super sale a few weeks ago. I won’t really know if they work until my bump gets bigger, but for now I don’t have to worry about spending $180 on Madewell maternity jeans that I will wear for 6 months…}

If Labor Day weekend is the official end of summer & kick-off of fall, it was certainly true in Seattle! The weather has changed (at least for the moment) to cooler, crisper, and rainier which I have been embracing with open arms!

We got quite a bit done around the house this weekend – projects that have been needing some attention – that we have been hoping to get done before fall really hits.

And we are ending the long weekend with Aaron running out to the store (at almost 11 PM) to get new batteries for our smoke detectors. One started chirping this morning, but apparently the chirping will continue until all of the batteries work? They are hard-wired too so it is a bit frustrating. Fingers crossed we can get the chirping to stop!

How was your weekend?

M

my weekend in pictures.

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{Lots of books while on the potty. Go Eloise go!}

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{And it was so wonderful to have Papa around this weekend after being house-bound for most of the week!}

We are less than a week into potty training, so there wasn’t a lot happening at the house this weekend, except for potty training. But, so far, so good!

Also, we had a break in the weather & had the most amazing cool, rainy, & cloudy weather. I know it sounds awful since I complain about not having sun most of the rest of the year, but I am SO ready for fall & it felt like it the past two days!

How was your weekend?

M

my weekend in pictures.

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{Eloise went to daycare on Friday so I had the entire day to myself! I made the trek down to IKEA for a few things.}

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{On Saturday morning we hit up Greenlake since it was a scorcher – over 90 degrees! – & it was so hot! Can you tell by Eloise’s face?}

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{But we cooled off in the wading pool at Greenlake & then had a picnic lunch in the shade.}

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{These wooden stools from IKEA are so great. We keep them in the bathrooms for Eloise to wash her hands. I put one together during naptime with the drill – it went so quickly!}

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{After some work in the yard this morning, Eloise wanted to take her tricycle out for a quick ride before lunch. Every time she sees herself in her helmet she shouts “MOO! MOO!” It’s the best!}

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{I have been really good at getting to my Sunday afternoon Pure Barre class. A much-needed hour to myself to start the week off right.}

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{Aaron had Eloise dressed in her striped dress when I got home from Barre, so of course Eloise wanted us to match. I love this girl.}

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{David, Jodi, & their kids got back into town for the next few days & we finally got a picture of all the kids together! They are a fun bunch.}

We had a fun weekend & are gearing up for the last full week of August – what? How was your weekend?

M

eloise’s second birthday party.

As I mentioned earlier in the week, Eloise’s second birthday party had a watermelon theme. It seemed like such a perfect (& easy) theme for an August birthday party, & Pinterest had many, many ideas. I limited myself to just a few & then let myself relax about the fact that any party theme or décor was entirely for me (& not for Eloise)!

I found these adorable watermelon cards on Paperless Post which were perfect & made me feel better about not designing one & mailing it out (although you know how much I LOVE snail mail!). Plus, Paperless Post is awesome because it tracks all the RSVPs for the event & you can send out reminders & message with guests – it’s awesome & a lot of the cards are free!

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This balloon garland was about the extent of the décor (minus one big helium watermelon balloon) which was based loosely on this picture from Pinterest. At the last minute I decided not to add the seeds on the pink balloons because I knew that the perfectionist in me would never be satisfied! But I really ended up liking the simple-ness of the garland in the end.

At sort of the last minute I decided to make Eloise a cake. I was originally going to just do a full watermelon & fruit cake with maybe a little yogurt frosting (like this) but it seemed a little too wedding for a toddler’s birthday party. So I made her a few sugar-free, butter-free, oil-free cupcakes using this recipe, but used frozen strawberries instead of blueberries for the frosting. And since I didn’t have any small cake pans, I just made one batch of 7 cupcakes & stacked two of them for E’s cake. Eloise seemed to enjoy her cake (which tasted like a muffin) & the frosting much more this year than last year.

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I made these impossibly cute watermelon rice krispy treats which were super easy & super yummy. I knew as soon as I made them that I should have made at least two more batches & I was right – everyone loved them!

And here are pictures of Eloise with her cake, blowing out the candles, & enjoying her birthday treat!

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Happy Second Birthday Eloise! And a HUGE thank you to Jess who grabbed the camera to take all of these pictures! M

eloise {month twenty-four // two years}

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{lion: jellycat via Nordstrom // dress:  Tucker and Tate via Nordstrom // hat: DIY from last year’s birthday // Grovia Magic Stick*}

*this is the only thing other than my phone that would make her sit still for the picture…

{month twenty-four} How has it been a year since this update?! Eloise turns TWO today & it’s blowing my mind. In some respects it feels like she has been two for the past few months since her growth & development has really taken off, but in others, it seems like she is just my tiny, little baby. This Babble article is a really good summary of what this second birthday is like (minus having the second child) which is so, so different than that first birthday! (I cried so much reading this, so be prepared!)

Eloise continues to talk up a storm these days & is really into the alphabet & counting (in all languages!). When she is playing or is in the car, you will hear her chatting with herself or her toys. It’s the cutest! And so much of what she hears from me (her memory is insane) I hear her talk about. Like when we are going up or down the stairs, I hear her frequently say “careful” which is exactly what I say to her! Now I am super conscious about what I tell her & the tone I use since it is obviously impactful! And just in the past few weeks, Eloise has really started using sentences which makes her seems SO old! I knew it was right around the corner, but I swear we just woke up one morning & she was saying three to five word sentences (that actually make sense!).

Eloise is very polite, saying “please” and “thank you” without prompting (most of the time), and she also says “bless you” if she hears someone sneeze. Seriously this kid. She has always been pretty empathetic towards others & is especially that way if me, or Aaron, or one of her friends is sad or hurt. She is the first one in line to give you a hug or kiss to brighten your day! She has the sweetest little soul.

Meal times are still going well as Eloise has maintained an appetite for such a broad range of foods (please don’t let this jinx that…) and we continue to introduce all different types & flavors of food. The exception is sugar. We really haven’t introduced any type of refined sugar because not only does Eloise LOVE fruit so she gets natural sugars, but there is absolutely no nutritional value in refined sugar! So, we’ve decided to hold off a bit longer on introducing any added sugars, desserts, or ice cream for at least another few months. We never want Eloise to feel like she can’t eat dessert or birthday cake with friends, but since she has no idea what it is yet, we are taking advantage!

As I mentioned above (sort of) Eloise loves to go up and down the stairs. And while she doesn’t go up and down them all day (I love that you can’t see them from our living room or kitchen!) she does appreciate a good stair climb. Over the past month or two, Eloise has opted to climb up and down facing forward, rather than crawling which is the way she learned. Much to my dismay, she loves to climb the stairs like a big kid. The handrailing is still a bit too high for her, but she is good about holding someone’s hand while she climbs up or down. It still makes my heart race to see her do it, but she is a pretty good little stair climber!

This past week I finally introduced TV to Eloise. She had a vague idea of it since we will turn the TV on during football season & she will see it while we are at a restaurant or occasionally while we are visiting someone else, but her TV screen time was basically nil. We were pretty firm about waiting until she was two to do any type of screen time & I think we were really successful in that & I am glad that we waited. Now Eloise gets one 20 minute episode of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood in the afternoon which is normally watched while I start dinner. The first two times we watched the show & I tried to turn it off, she completely lost it & had a meltdown. But before I started the show on the third day, I reminded her that we got to watch one show & then we would be all done, and after the end credits came on, we said “good-bye Daniel Tiger” & I turned off the TV & there were no tears! Now Eloise will tell me throughout the day that she gets one show.

Along with the TV thing, we have found that generally if we talk Eloise thru what her expectations should be for something, things go much more smoothly & we can prevent meltdowns. Like with bedtime, we have the same routine which is done in basically the same order every night. Once we finish one thing, we ask Eloise what comes next & she will answer & start to do it. This prevents frustration for her (& for us) & gives her some control of what’s going on; and at bedtime especially it prevents her from doing anything & everything to delay actually going to bed!

Eloise is such a joyful child & it has been such a privilege to watch her grow-up these past two years. And while we are beginning into the “terrible twos” (which is actually a phrase that I loathe & really try not to use!) I know that these coming months & years will be the best! I spend more time with Eloise than anyone else & she is the best companion.

{weight} 30-ish pounds.

{hair} dark (reddish) brown.

{teeth} 12 teeth plus four molars.

{eyes} dark brown.

{clothes}  18 to 24 months, 2T, and some 3T.

{diapers} full-time cloth {bum genius pocket, & elemental and grovia hybrid with organic soaker pads} & honest company size 5 diapers at night with a bum genius diaper cover. **for about the past two weeks, however, we have been doing all honest disposables since I am SO tired of cleaning poopy diapers. I absolutely love cloth & will do it with any future child(ren) but until we start potty training at the end of the month, we are in disposables!**

{feeding} during the day, three meals, morning snack, & afternoon snack. sippy cup of milk with every meal. eloise is really starting to master using a small cup for water too, so we try to offer one with at least dinner & sometimes snack time.

{likes} coloring, yelling, Duplos, digging in the dirt, splashing, counting, chewing on her toothbrush, the mailman, any person outside on the sidewalk, bubbles, sidewalk chalk, coloring, buckles, jumping, watching out the front window (dogs, kids, trucks), books, mama & papa’s cell phone, toys that squeak or rattle, singing & music, dancing, Sadie, standing, FaceTime, bathtime, shoes, mama’s (diaper) bag, clapping, putting things inside a bag or box, taking lids off of things, talking, helping with anything & everything, when Papa comes home from work.

{dislikes} not being included, having something taken away from her, diaper changes, not eating when someone else is, being hungry, getting into the carseat, getting out of the carseat, having a poop in her diaper (& sitting).

{nicknames} Bug{s}, Love Bug, Baby Bug, E, Wheezy, Kiddo, Love, Bugaboo, Ellie or Elle.

Happy Twenty-Four Months Eloise! These have been the very best two years ever!

M

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